Jesse Palmer to Host ‘The Bachelor’ Season 26: Fans React

Jesse Palmer walks the runway at The Blue Jacket Fashion Show
Brian Ach/Getty Images for The Blue Jacket Fashion Show

Jesse Palmer, who starred as the fifth Bachelor in 2004, will return to the long-running ABC reality series to host the upcoming 26th season.

The new role comes as Palmer expands his relationship with Disney, where he has served as a sports analyst on ESPN since 2007 and previously contributed to Good Morning America and ABC News. Palmer currently hosts ABC’s summer competition show The Ultimate Surfer and before that hosted The Proposal, the 2018 reality show created by Bachelor producer Mike Fleiss.

The former college football and NFL quarterback replaces Chris Harrison, who stepped away from The Bachelor earlier this year amid controversy relating to comments made about racist photos of winning contestant Rachael Kirkconnell. Since Harrison’s departure, the show has seen Emmanuel Acho host the After the Final Rose special at the end of Matt James’ season and former contestants Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe co-host The Bachelorette.

“For more than 20 years, The Bachelor has brought the world dozens of unforgettable love stories, including at one time, my own,” Palmer said in a statement. “Falling in love is one of life’s greatest gifts, and I am humbled by the opportunity to return to the show as host this season to offer the newest Bachelor advice gained from firsthand experience and I am grateful to play a small part in his journey.”

Palmer took to Instagram to address Bachelor Nation, writing, “I couldn’t be more thrilled to be home with my @bachelorabc family! Word on the street is it’s pretty AMAZING around here!”

 

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Palmer is officially on board for Season 26 of The Bachelor, which will premiere in 2022. However, according to Variety sources, the plan is for Palmer to continue as host for future seasons, including both The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, though nothing is confirmed as of yet.

The reaction to the news from the Bachelor Nation was mixed, to say the least.

“Ahh yes let’s pick the man who picked no one on his season. He’ll give great advice,” tweeted one fan.

However, others were more optimistic by the prospect of Palmer hosting the show. “Well, this is good news…,” wrote one fan, “and takes the sting out of what happened last season!! Love Jesse Palmer!!”

“The Jesse Palmer announcement is very underwhelming for me, but I will give the guy a chance,” another viewer commented. “I literally said to myself “I know that name, why?” Oh he was a previously the Bachelor he’s Canadian so I’m here for it.”

Many others were disappointed that fan-favorite Bachelorette alum Wells Adams didn’t get the opportunity.

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The Bachelor, Season 26, 2022, ABC